When Nick Romano said “Live fast, die young and have a good-looking corpse!”* he could have been talking about The Cut!, London’s best underground cinema club, sadly after four and half years Bizarre magazine’s demise has pulled the plug on The Cut!’s life support. But it went out with a bloody big bang.
Japanese horror Greatful Dead has sod all to do with Jerry Garcia’s acid rockers. Nami is a lonely kid with attention seeking violent behaviour problems. The isolation gets worse when Nami’s mum takes off to help poor third world kids, dad takes a mistress and big sister moves out.
Fast forward a few years and dad’s suicide has left grown up Nami (Kumi Takiuchi) financially independent. She gets her rocks off spying on other lonely people. These ‘Solitarians’ as she calls them, include a pigeon feeding reputed murderer and old Mr Shiomi (Takashi Sasano) who spends all day watching porn. Things carry on fine until some pesky Christian do gooders decide to befriend lonely old people and Soo-young (Kim Kkobbi) encourages Mr Shiomi to put the DVDs back in the drawer and read the Bible with her. Worse than that Soo-young encourages him to become reconciled with his family.
What’s a girl who knows a pigeon feeding murderer to do?
Eiji Uchida’s Greatful Dead is a darkly funny beast, it kicks off with some almost slapstick violence before a tug on the emotional heartstrings as we focus on young Namis’s increasing isolation. However, the dark humour continues as Nami graduates from peeping Tom to stalker before a headlong descent into bloody revenge, off the wall sexual fulfilment and then some even more bloody revenge. That isn’t to say there aren’t any squirm in your seat moments, like a lot of Japanese horrors the bloody deeds that happen just off-screen are accompanied by all too real sounding Foley effects.
Dark humour, slapstick violence and twisted weird sex, what’s not to like? I give Greatful Dead a 666/666.
Greatful Dead is out now in the UK on Blu-Ray and DVD from Third Window Films. Japanese with English subtitles.
Big Big thanks to Mr Billy Chainsaw for the past four and a half years of free extreme movies and beer, let’s wish him luck in finding a new partner so the CUT! can rise again.
*quote is by John Derek from the film Knock on any Door